Ricky Stenhouse Jr. started from 24th where he may have felt a bit off the pace in 25th.
Crew Chief Brian Pattie told him not to hit the curves too hard so the No.17 car can last for the rest of the race.
Towards the end of Stage 1, the changes made in pit road on Lap 14 under yellow helped Stenhouse massively.
That’s where he remained patient & quiet having handled the curves nicely before coming home in 18th.
Stenhouse didn’t need to pit at the break in 11th at the start of Stage 2.
His next run went very well in 10th and later in the Top 5 midway through this installment.
He pitted with 3 to go & out in 33rd before finishing in 29th at the halfway mark for strategy purposes.
Likewise, from the previous stage break, Stenhouse stayed out before restarting in 25th.
In the initial run, nothing remained unchanged before moving up to 18th by the 4th incident caution on Lap 46.
At the same time, he came on pit road for some treatment.
He looks like he’s enjoying a tremendous next run had broken inside the Top 10.
But he ran off-course plus tire rub and left rear tire going flat and quarter panel which cost him some time in 30th.
Over the last twenty laps, he pitted again for last time before it gets worse with eight to go.
Stenhouse’s 2018 Season So Far.
- 29 Starts
- 7848 of 7970 Laps Completed, 98.6%
- 125 Laps Led
- Highest Starting Spot & Finish: 4th, April 2018 in Bristol
- Two Top 5, 6.9%
- Three Top 10 finishes, 10.3%
- Average Start: 15 & Finish: 20.2
- DNF: Five
- He currently sits 21st in the Drivers’ Standings with 553 Points.
- 29th/Crash, Daytona 500
- 16th, Atlanta
- 14th, Las Vegas
- 23rd, Phoenix
- 18th, Fontana
- 37th, Martinsville
- 25th/Suspension, Texas
- 4th, Bristol
- 23rd, Richmond
- 5th, Talladega
- 15th, Dover
- 11th, Kansas
- 10th, Charlotte
- 14th, Pocono
- 29th, Michigan
- 18th, Sonoma
- 16th, Chicago
- 26th, Daytona 2
- 30th, New Hampshire
- 22nd, Pocono
- 16th, Watkins Glen
- 18th, Michigan 2
- 24th, Bristol 2
- 12th, Darlington
- 34th/Engine, Indianapolis
- 30th/Crash, Las Vegas 2
- 13th, Richmond 2
- 37th/Crash, Charlotte Roval
His fantastic run towards the end of Stage 1 gave Stenhouse a chance to gain plenty of momentum.
He’s able to capitalize a few spots when running quietly in the radio through the majority of Stage 2.
So did the same during the first half of the final stage where Stenhouse returned inside the Top 10 for a while.
But unfortunately, there are some mistakes such as running off the race track then suffer a late wreck.
The poor qualifying performance influenced his slow start & difficult weekend in the office.
Yes, the late cautions may have given Stenhouse a boost if he survived the wreck.
If that’s possible then, it’s likely that a Top 10-15 finish would’ve been possible.
Without a good race car in the last half of the day, Stenhouse couldn’t execute the overall performance on the run home.
He mentioned about pushing his best than the car itself via his official Twitter account.
That’s why Stenhouse felt disappointed when he crashed and later left the race early just a few laps before the checkered flag.
Only three DNFs v One Top 15 over September through his last four races.
He will assess what went wrong at the Roush Fenway HQ tomorrow before recharging his batteries & aiming to bounce back at Dover.
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